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Headaches - Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

Questions to prepare for your appointment

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions. When you go to your appointment, be sure to bring your headache diary(What is a PDF document?).

  • What medicines do you take, either weekly or monthly, depending on the severity of your headaches? What is your response to the medicine? Make a list to help you remember your medicines and your response.
  • For a headache that started suddenly (acute):
    • When did the headache start?
    • What were you doing when the headache started?
  • For ongoing headaches (chronic):
    • When did your headache problems start?
    • How often do you have headaches?
    • How long do your headaches usually last?
    • Where is your headache pain located?
    • Describe your headache pain (stabbing, throbbing, dull, sharp), and how you would rate the pain?
    • How do your headaches usually begin or evolve?
    • Do you have other symptoms with your headaches?
    • Are your headaches related to your menstrual cycle?
    • What do you think causes your headaches?
    • What home treatments have you tried, and how well did they work?
    • What prescription medicines have you been given? Did they work?
    • What prescription or nonprescription medicines do you take?
    • Are you using an alternative or complementary medicine or treatment (including herbal remedies)?
    • Have you recently had a dental procedure, such as a filling or a root canal?
    • When was your last eye examination? Do you wear corrective lenses?
    • Do you have any health risks?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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